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CNN NEWSROOM

"The President is Going to Act"; And the Nominees Are; Steroids Era Shutout

Aired January 10, 2013 - 09:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: We'll keep you posted.

National Weather Service also issued a tornado warning. Let's head to meteorologist Alexandra Steele for more.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Carol. I want to show you the big picture. It's been incredibly stormy. Just a path of moisture coming in here.

And this is Louisiana. We do have tornado warnings, but also from a previous tornado reported just a little while ago, minor and moderate roof damage in the town of Plaquemines. So, you can see why.

So, here's I-10, I-20, I-15, all impacted with a very strong line of storms. Here's the bib picture, just so you know, Louisiana, Mississippi, moving toward Georgia here.

And here's where these tornado watches are posted, and they're posted through the afternoon. But embedded in this line, this purple, delineating more tornado warning is, meaning that we have seen and felt rotation within these strong thunderstorms.

This line, you can see crossing over I-10 and then I-12, moving Northeast at about 30 miles per hour, and you can see. Here's Donaldsonville, Louisiana, just east of Baton Rouge and continue to move eastward. So, again, you're probably hearing on your screen, the beeping, tornado again warning again right here for 45 more minutes.

But, Carol, the big picture, tornado watches kind of a very fluid scenario and definitely likelihood with more tornadoes today with this line. We'll keep you posted.

COSTELLO: Thanks, Alexandra. We'll take a break. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Good morning. Thank you for being with us. I'm Carol Costello. It's 33 minutes past the hour.

To politics now, if you thought the battle over gun control was heated before, you haven't seen anything yet. Vice President Joe Biden making some strong statements about how the White House could handle the issue. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The president is going to act. There's executive orders, executive action that can be taken. We haven't decided what that is yet. But we're compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and all of the rest of the cabinet members, as well as legislative action, we believe, is required.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Biden is leading the president's task force to end gun violence, as you might guess. The idea of President Obama going around Congress to achieve his goals didn't go over too well with some people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, TALK RADIO HOST: So when Biden, himself a liberal Democrat, says that himself and the president, cabinet, attorney general, all a bunch of leftist Democrats are talking about using executive orders, when you say, for what? It can only be to take guns away from people. And who knew that an executive order can trump a constitutional amendment?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Rush Limbaugh and others saying the Second Amendment now in jeopardy, even though no one is talking about overturning the Second Amendment, or confiscating guns in America. So, what impact could an executive really have?

Joining me now, CNN political analyst Roland Martin, and CNN contributor and analyst for "The Blaze", Will Cain.

Good morning to you both.

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning.

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning.

COSTELLO: OK. So, why did Joe Biden bring this up in the first place? I mean, isn't it -- doesn't it just inflame this even more, Roland?

MARTIN: No, it's not a question of inflame. He's simply being honest. I mean, isn't this part of the problem? We don't want to have an honest conversation. Anytime we talk about dealing with this issue -- folks, the art and gun supporters, what do they do, they run to the far extreme by saying, oh, they're trying to take our guns.

No one is going to take your guns. What it's saying, how could you put in something that is meaningful, that also makes some sense? And this is why we can never move forward because they want to go automatically to "they're taking our guns, they're taking our guns." Calm down, stop it. COSTELLO: Yes. But doesn't it stop like a threat, Will? It's not exactly a great negotiating point.

CAIN: Yes, it does sound that way. But I have no way of knowing what he meant. He didn't flesh it out. What does he hope to get accomplished by executive order?

Look, Rush Limbaugh is wrong. He's not going to be able to trump the Second Amendment. President Obama is not going to be able to trump the Second Amendment with an executive order. What could he possibly get accomplished?

The best I can see that he'd be able to get accomplished is to possibly ban the import of some foreign manufactured guns. It's something that's been done before. I saw you talking to Dan Lothian earlier, Carol. It was done by first President Bush. It was done by President Clinton.

The key is executive order must rest on top of an existing piece of legislation, right? The president cannot create laws. He cannot supplant Congress. So, whatever he hopes must sit on top of laws that are already on the books.

COSTELLO: OK. And just to be specific about what President George H.W. Bush did and President Clinton, in 1989, after a mass school shooting in California, President George H.W. Bush banned certain assault weapons unless used for sporting purposes. And then, nearly a decade later, your right, Will, President Clinton banned import of assault weapons modified to get around the sporting purposes exception. So, that's what they did.

I don't know if those things were ultimately effective, though, Roland. So why bother?

MARTIN: Yes. But here's the deal, though. This is also a mistake that we made. Well, is it effective, so why do it?

Look, you can deal with this issue from a variety of ways. What the failure that we have in this conversation, we always want to say, can this one thing stop a Newtown? No. There is no one thing that can stop a Newtown, but you can say, what are some reasonable things that we can do that can lower the opportunity, lower the risk? That's the whole point.

And so, we shouldn't be afraid to kind of put those kind of things in place. But, again you're not going to fine one thing that will solve the problem.

COSTELLO: OK, I want to ask you again because you're a lawyer, right?

CAIN: Right.

COSTELLO: Does the president have the power to overturn the Second Amendment?

CAIN: No. He does not have the power to overturn the Second Amendment. I don't know what his intentions are. I don't know what Joe Biden's intentions are. He didn't explain it.

I would like to explain this to Roland, because when Roland used words like "reasonable", they carry a lot of weight. And they don't amount to much more than platitudes.

The reason people worry about you taking away guns, is because this: when you try to say, ah, we're going to pass an assault weapon ban. Those terms are meaningless. You cannot define assault weapons. These are things to make you feel warm and fuzzy.

The only thing you can do, because an assault weapon is functionally the equivalent of 70 percent of guns in this country is to ban -- and, by the way, from ban, you must also confiscate because it would be floating around and criminals can get them. Seventy percent of guns, that will be all semi-automatics, at that point you run into a very serious Second Amendment problem.

COSTELLO: So, seriously, you think that if Congress passes an assault weapons ban, that it would be retroactive and that government officials will go around people's houses and confiscating guns.

CAIN: No.

COSTELLO: Because I didn't say that. I did not say that. I said that if they pass an assault weapons ban, and it's not conjecture on my part, they did it. They did it for 10 years, it will have no effect.

I said, if you want to have an affect, you want to make a dent in the problem, you must ban -- assault weapon that doesn't mean anything. You can't define it. You would have to ban define all semiautomatic weapons. That's the functional line where guns get different, and semiautomatics are rifles, shotgun, handguns, it's 70 percent of guns in this country.

(CROSSTALK)

COSTELLO: You have a definition what an assault weapon is, or a semiautomatic is.

CAIN: But the definition -- but the definition doesn't make it any more lethal, Carol, the definition of assault weapon has to do with things like a pistol grip.

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: Carol --

COSTELLO: Go ahead.

MARTIN: Carol, again, you can define and again, what you have is people who want to -- who just don't believe in any kind of restrictions. This is the tactic they always use. Oh, no, nothing will work. None of this stuff will work.

I'm simply saying is, you can make the effort. Let's stop this whole notion, because either one thing that works, or nothing can work at all. I'm saying that makes no sense to me.

COSTELLO: Roland Martin, Will Cain, thanks as usual.

CAIN: Thank you.

MARTIN: Appreciate it.

COSTELLO: Nobody in the class of 2013, baseball writers don't elect any players to the Hall of Fame. One of those sports writers who has the power, Jason Star will talk about why this hand and what it means.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "Southern Wild", Dan Janvey, Josh Penn, and Michael Gottwald, producers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Silver Linings Playbook", Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen, and Jonathan Gordon, producers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "Zero Dark Thirty", Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, producers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Lincoln", Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, producers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "Les Miserables," Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, producers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Life of Pi," Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, producers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "Amour", nominees to be determined.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Django Unchained," Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin, and Pilar Savone, producers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And, "Argo," Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, producers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: This is the event, Hollywood gets up early for -- the nominations for the Academy Awards.

"Lincoln", the big winner this morning, nominated 12 times, including for best picture and best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis.

But the big surprise was "Silver Linings Playbook", taking home nominations in every single category, eight in total.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Me? None. I used to be on Lithium and Seroquel and Abilify. But I don't take them anymore. They make me foggy and they also make me bloated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I was on Xanax and Effexor, but I agree. I wasn't as sharp so I stopped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You ever take Klonopin?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Klonopin, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right?

What day is it?

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about Trazodone?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trazodone?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it flattens you out. I mean, you are done. It takes the light out of your eyes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: So it's not an uplifting movie until the end of course. To talk about everything from winners and losers, to surprises and snubs I'm joined this morning by Michael Musto in New York. He's the entertainment writer for the Village Voice and a New York nightlife icon.

MICHAEL MUSTO, ENTERTAINMENT WRITER, VILLAGE VOICE: Hi Carol.

COSTELLO: Hi, Mr. Icon.

MUSTO: Oh I like that. I'm glad I didn't take a klonopin five minutes ago or I wouldn't be with you right now.

COSTELLO: No exactly the light would just go out of your eyes.

MUSTO: "Silver Linings Playbook" happens to be a superb film. It mixes treatment of mental illness with a rom-com formula and does so in very witty and surprising ways. But I knew that "Lincoln" was going to be the frontrunner Carol let's face it. That movie really has a glow of Oscar about it. It came around at the right moment.

COSTELLO: I'm telling you I saw it twice. I loved it so much I saw it twice.

MUSTO: I hope you weren't shocked by the ending.

COSTELLO: I wasn't.

MUSTO: Especially the second time. That would be weird.

COSTELLO: That would be weird. Any surprises, somebody who wasn't nominated who perhaps should have been like oh, say, Ben Affleck? MUSTO: You know what; in the best director category there were a couple of shocks. Ben Affleck wasn't nominated for directing "Argo". Kathryn Bigelow wasn't nominated for directing "Zero Dark Thirty". I'm wondering if Jennifer Lopez and James Cameron maybe were voting on this. No I'm kidding.

But you know what, the people that they put in there were for superb movies. "Amour" which is a foreign film about an old couple's relationship which just rocked when the wife has a stroke is beautifully done, that's up for picture and director. And also "Beast of the Southern Wild" it's a beautiful little film about a father and daughter against the elements and that's up for picture and director. And the way the little girl from that movie, Quevenzhane Wallis -- I hope I said that right.

COSTELLO: Close enough.

MUSTO: Pronounce -- it's really pronounced Sade -- anyway she was five when she got the part. She lied and said she was six because they were looking for people six and over. And now she's nine. She's the youngest best actress nominee in history. And Emmanuelle Riva for "Amour" the film I was just telling you about, about the old couple, is the oldest best actress nominee in history, 85.

COSTELLO: Wow that should be an interesting competition. The little girl though, she is so unbelievably cute. And I hear that she is superb in this movie. I mean she's never acted before right?

MUSTO: It's a breathtaking -- right it's a breathtaking brilliant performance. It's the best performance I've ever seen by a child actor. And her father -- this is how small that movie is her father was played by the guy who happened to own the bakery near the set. So they say hey, you want to play the father? And he's brilliant too. So this is a message. Don't get real actors people --

COSTELLO: But how could she lose she's 9 and adorable?

MUSTO: I hate to see her compete especially with the old lady. But you know what I think Jessica Chastain is going to win for "Zero Dark Thirty" so that will make up for Kathryn Bigelow's snub.

COSTELLO: Ok.

MUSTO: I was also surprised to see Joaquin Phoenix by the way nominated he was brilliant in "The Master." But he's wacky in that movie really divides people. So I was glad to see him get a nomination.

COSTELLO: Ok any more predictions that you'd like to make?

MUSTO: Obviously "Lincoln" is going all of the way. It has that Oscar feeling. Daniel Day-Lewis will be the first actor to get three best actor Oscars for "Lincoln". But Katherine Hepburn from beyond the grave is going to say well, so what I have four best actresses. Jessica Chastain as I mentioned, for best actress, supporting will be Tommy Lee Jones, for "Lincoln" he brings a little levity to movie which needs a few laughs let's face it. And supporting actress will be Ann Hathaway for "Les Miserables" because she gets her back teeth pulled out. Gets mud in her face and she has to sing live.

COSTELLO: Yes a pair off right.

MUSTO: And she -- you know it's really miserable and she did even better than Susan Boyle with that song. So she's going all the way much as we really like Sally Fields, sorry, Sally, it's Anne's year.

COSTELLO: Michael Musto fun as always, thank you.

MUSTO: Thank you.

COSTELLO: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Induction day at Cooperstown won't be the same this summer. The Baseball Writers Association had 37 candidates to choose from and elected none, zero, noda, no one. A few of those players had the whiff of steroids but should that have kept them out of the hall?

Jayson Stark doesn't think so. In his ESPN.com column he wrote about Cooperstown, quote, "If it's a cathedral, not a museum, it means we're going to have to throw out Gaylord Perry. Sorry, Gaylord. And everyone who corked a bat or scuffed a ball or used an amphetamine and anyone who was a notorious off the field scoundrel."

Jayson Stark joins us now. Good morning, Jayson.

JAYSON STARK, SENIOR BASEBALL WRITER ESPN.COM: Hi, Carol.

COSTELLO: So1 you're the -- you're one of the sports writers with the power to get someone into the hall. So as you sat down with the ballot this year, was it the most agonizing ever?

STARK: Absolutely the toughest ever. You know I actually went and looked at every single ballot since the beginning of Hall of Fame voting back in the 30s and I really think this was the most star- studded ballot in like 75 years. And so it -- it's really incredible to think that we elected nobody.

You know we had a candidate who hit more home runs than any player who ever lived in Barry Bonds. We didn't elect him. We had a pitcher in Roger Clemens who won, at the time he retired, more games than any right-handed pitcher since 1920. And we didn't elect him.

We had a guy hit 600 home runs in Sammy Sosa, we didn't elect him. Had a guy in Craig Biggio who got more than 3,000 hits. We didn't elect him. It just shows you how confused I think the voters are about an era that was so complicated and controversial.

COSTELLO: Yes I think this on the sports page in "New York Times," this is how they -- like "Welcome to Cooperstown, No One". There is going to be a problem next time around too, don't you think? STARK: Well next year, it just gets even worse. Everybody who we had to deal with yesterday is still going to be on the ballot with the exception of Dale Murphy. And next year, we have Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux and Jeff Kent and Frank Thomas and Mike Macino that's five more great candidates for the Hall of Fame. I mean, we're going to look at a ballot that really has 20 bonafide candidates.

And you know we can only vote for ten on our ballot and so we're finding ourselves now as voters having to make decisions not based on all right, do we think this player was a hall-of-famer or not but trying to play guessing games on morality and steroid use and all kinds of questions that I know that I didn't get in the business to have to consider.

COSTELLO: Well going back to your column, you said maybe we should throw out Gaylord Perry too. But you know what he supposedly did seems charming compared to what Barry Bonds supposedly did, right?

STARK: Yes people thought it was amusing at the time that a guy threw a spitball or scuffed balls or you know put foreign substances on the ball. That's viewed as gamesmanship. And I understand that that's a form of cheating that is not the same thing as taking steroids.

But here is the way I view it. If we decide it's a museum of baseball history, then we should be electing the greatest players of that era, just the way we have elected the greatest players of all eras and let baseball, and let the Hall of Fame decide how they want to explain to people what those guys are doing there.

On the other hand, if we think it is some sort of saintly place, then don't we have to throw out all the cheaters. I don't see how we can have it both ways. Either it's a -- it's a holy place, a place where only the clean and pure and saintly players get to reside or it's not. We've to do one or the other.

COSTELLO: Jayson Stark, thank you so much for being with us this morning. We appreciate it.

STARK: Thank you, Carol.

COSTELLO: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Some really freaked-out people in Virginia called 911 claiming a lion was roaming the streets.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there was a lion that ran across the street, a baby lion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where. What kind of animal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lion, a baby lion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has the mane and everything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was about the size of a Labrador retriever.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

COSTELLO: There is a reason for that. The last caller was on to something because the reason the lion was about the size of a labrador retriever is because the lion was actually a labradoodle, a cross between a labrador and a poodle.

His name is Charles (inaudible). His owner gets him groomed to look like the mascot for nearby Old Dominion. That doesn't look like a lion.

The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)